He gives us color and elegant expanse of shape relating to nature, but he denies us the telling detail that humanizes the universal statement. And strangely, in doing so, he loses both universality and the particular.
His landscapes, like his figures, are generally effective decorations of the picture surface in terms of flat, often interlocking shapes of attractive color. But their basically decorative nature is revealed if one thinks of an American painter with a similar desire for directly stated pattern.
He had his first one-man show as early as 1928 at the Opportunity Gallery in New York. The decades that followed saw him show work at numerous exhibitions mounted by New York galleries and American museums. Milton Avery’s preoccupation with French Fauvism and German Expressionism led him to develop a simplified formal idiom distinguished by clarity of line and an expressive palette. Whereas Avery’s early figurative drawings and paintings from the 1930s attest to affinities primarily with the work of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, by the 1940s he was discernibly close to Henri Matisse.
As the American upholder of Matisse’s colouristic doctrine, Milton Avery developed the French artist’s decorative colour surfaces into subtly toned colour zones, thus breaking the ground for the Colour Field painting of Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb, both of whom were friends of his. Even though his style was close to abstraction, Milton Avery nonetheless clung to representation throughout his entire career. Classical motifs and subject matter in portraits, still lifes and coastal landscapes were his main thematic areas and genres.
Prolific as a painter, graphic artist and ceramist, Milton Avery received numerous awards from American art institutions before he died in 1965 although he only really became famous posthumously. He is now acclaimed as one of the most influential American C20th artists.
NEW CATEGORY for ART BEAD ARTISTS!!
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